How you can optimise your health, happiness and wellbeing
It’s World Wellbeing Week so there’s no better time than now to put your wellbeing centre stage and find out how you can optimise your health, happiness and wellbeing.
After the year we’ve all had, there is an even greater need to make your wellbeing a priority. Whether you are an individual, employee or employer, wellbeing should be top of your agenda.
Wellbeing is crucial is to every aspect of your health. As a Naturopath who understands the importance of a fully holistic approach to health, I’ll show you how to easily incorporate wellbeing activities into your day to day life – no matter how busy you are.
So what exactly is wellbeing?
This is more than pure health. You may feel healthy with no obvious signs or symptoms of ill health, but at the same time if you feel overwhelmed with responsibilities and stress your wellbeing won’t be optimal.
I see wellbeing encompassing your overall mental and physical health. It’s your contentment, happiness and joy; your sense of vitality; and positive feelings of self-worth, satisfaction with life and having a sense of purpose.
In order to create wellbeing you must prioritise yourself! But how often do you stop and ask yourself how YOU ARE, rather than asking others, how they are?
How do you know if you have good wellbeing?
Try to set aside ten to fifteen minutes to tune into yourself and ask yourself these questions:
- Am I feeling cheerful today?
- Am I feeling good about myself?
- Do I have good energy and vitality?
- Am I able to cope with the stress and pressures that life invariably throws at me?
- Can I make clear and logical decisions about important things?
- Have I set aside relaxation time into my schedule? Every single day?
- Am I satisfied with my contribution to the world around me: both personally and professionally?
- Do I feel connected with others and enjoy those connections?
- Am I interested in learning new things?
Of course we’re not going to feel brilliant about all these things all the time. But if you don’t feel 100% content and happy with life, these questions may highlight where to give a bit more focus.
But how can I incorporate wellbeing into my day to day life?
Here are five ways that can improve your wellbeing. Try one new approach over the next five days and see how they contribute to your wellbeing scores.
Day 1 Connect with a friend you haven’t contacted for a while
Social contact is crucial to wellbeing. Studies have shown that loneliness is a driver for ill health.
This is not about social media! This is about picking up the phone and saying hello. Remember when we called mobiles “phones”? And now they’ve become texting machines? Use your phone as a phone and talk to someone. It’s very easy to wait for someone to call you but DON’T WAIT! Everyone is busy. You may think that others may not appreciate a call but that’s rarely the case. Make today the day you make that call and you’ll end up smiling, laughing and feeling great for the connection. You’ll also make your friend feel valued and happy too.
Day 2 Start a daily journal
There is so much negativity in our lives but when we dig deep we do find things to be grateful for. We tend to take too much for granted and with the loss of so much freedom and restrictions placed on us it can be too easy to dwell on what we have lost.
Start to appreciate the little things in life.
Spending a few minutes writing down the simple things that give us joy and happiness can help to retrain our brains away from negative thoughts to more positive ones.
Start or end your day reflecting on the day (or the one before): what did you achieve that day? Did you enjoy a particular meal? Did the sun shine? Did you watch a funny or entertaining programme or read a good book?
It isn’t about one big event, happiness is made up of many small pleasures in life.
Day 3: Find 5-10-15 minutes to do……nothing
We overfill our lives. Our poor brains are whirring from so much noise.
Whether we practice meditation or not, finding stillness in our day to clear our minds is mentally invigorating – but not in a tiring way. A tired stressed mind will feel fresher and calmer for giving it time to just be.
Find a quiet spot away from gadgets (a topic in its own right!). Maybe sit in the garden or a park and just watch and listen. Thoughts flash in and out and it’s fine to observe them but try to let them go.
We may find that a difficult decision we need to make or a problem that needs solving becomes much easier when we give our minds space to do nothing.
Day 4 Do something new
Having a sense of achievement is wonderfully rewarding. This really does bring joy and contentment. But this doesn’t have to be as complex as mastering a new language or starting a degree.
I have clients who learn how to cook simple healthy meals and this is hugely satisfying (as well as tasty). So cooking a new dish for your family could be the one new thing. The actual cooking can be (for some) therapeutic too. You may have some mending to do but have been putting it off or a picture to hang. You may want to try a new type of puzzle like Soduko. You may have an interest in gardening so start with planting up some herbs on your window will and watch them grow.
By all means venture on to something bigger and more complex but this article is all about starting small and being mentally alert.
Day 5 Create a calming environment
Do you have a relaxing space in your house you can go to? Is there a quiet corner? Does it have calming colours or a picture that makes you happy?
Is it clutter free?
You may need an hour or two to declutter a space. I’m a fan of Marie Kondo and her KonMarie tidying method and whilst I haven’t fully embraced her approach to a tidy home I do recognise the basic principles.
She talks about how your home and items should spark joy and serenity.
When you properly declutter your home it enables the freedom to think, be inspired and to be happy. I know the difference it makes to my mind when I tidy my office space as it enables me to think more clearly.
So try and tackle a small space to make it as calming as possible to enable you to properly switch off and relax.
My business moto is to enable you to lead a “happier, healthier, more active life”.
Try and find the time to do these five activities over five days and see the difference it makes to your overall wellbeing. And I’d love to know how you get on!
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Again, thanks for reading.
Keep your eye out for more articles and Peyton Principles in the media.
A little more about me…
Providing expert, personalised, health advice utilising 10 years of nutritional therapy and naturopathy experience with a strong emphasis on digestion and gut health. Zoom or face to face Consultations.
I also develop and deliver wellbeing in the workplace workshops.
Helping people live happier, healthier more active lives.
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